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George A. Bonanno

Professional Background

Educational Background

B.A., Hampshire College
Ph.D., Yale University

Scholarly Interests

Resilience and coping with grief and trauma. Emotion and emotion regulation. The adaptive consequences of self-deception.

LAB: Loss, Trauma, and Emotion lab;

The PURL II study webpage:

The Other Side of Sadness, published in 2009. Basic Books

Selected Publications

 For publications and other documents, visit the Loss, Trauma and Emotion lab

recent publications

for a complete list of publications, visit the Loss, Trauma, and Emotion lab

biographical information

Professor, George Bonanno, received his Ph.D. from Yale University. His research over the past 15 years has examined how adults and children respond to and cope with extremely aversive events, such as the death of a loved one, war, infectious disease, sexual abuse, and terrorist attack. In recent years, Professor Bonanno's work has focused more specifically on defining psychological resilience in adults exposed to extreme adversity and on the psychological and contextual factors that might inform resilient outcomes. This work has been funded by generous grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

CCPX 5020: Emotion, culture and health

This course covers the impact of overwhelming emotions on human health and self-regulatory responses. The role of culture in these responses is explored, as well as historical context and theoretical perspectives.

CCPX 5533: Research methods in clinical psychology

Permission required. Design, methodology, and artifact in research. Development of research proposals. Critical review of journal articles.

Documents & Papers

Is there more to complicated grief than depression and PTSD? A test of incremental validity. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 116, 342-351.

Download: Bonann, Neria et al. (2007) [PDF]

Bonanno, G. A., Brewin, C. R., Kaniasty, K. & La Greca, A. M, (2010). Weighing the costs of disaster: Consequences, risks, and resilience in individuals, families, and communities. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 11(1), 1-49.

Download: Weighing the costs of disaster [PDF]

Annual Review of Clinical Psychology

Download: 2011_Bonanno, Westphal, & Mancini [PDF]

Loss, trauma, and human resilience: Have we underestimated the human capacity to thrive after extremely aversive events? American Psychologist, 59, 20-28.

Download: Bonanno (2004) [PDF]

Centers and Projects

Center on Chinese Education

The Center on Chinese Education, Teachers College Columbia University (CoCE) is aimed at contributing to a better understanding of education in China and to educational exchange between the United States and China. It seeks to achieve this mission through three categories of activities: research and development, education and training, as well as outreach and exchange. These activities will draw upon the historically special relationship between Chinese education and Teachers College, the interests and expertise of the faculty at Teachers College, as well as expertise and resources outside of Teachers College. Major funding for the Center's activities is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Contact: Mun C. Tsang

George A. Bonanno appeared in the following articles:

State of the College 2013 (10/29/2013)

TC's Bonanno Talks About Resilience With CBS Morning News (10/22/2013)

From Homeless to a Home at TC (9/5/2013)

Responding to Sandy's Devastation (6/26/2013)

George Bonanno (6/10/2013)

Academic Festival 2013: The Sessions (4/23/2013)

Psychology Without Borders: Providing Hope and Healing in the Face of Adversity (4/22/2013)

2012 Year in Review (2/20/2013)

Handling a Crisis with Class (2/12/2013)

TC's Bonanno: Hurricane Sandy Victims Could Experience Ongoing Effects of "Grinding, Daily Wear and Stress" (11/7/2012)

The Student Life Expert Gets Her Degree (5/14/2012)

News @ TC (5/1/2012)

2011 Year in Review (4/13/2012)

The New Face of Sadness (1/3/2012)

Backstage at the Human Drama (12/16/2011)

Celebrating Psychology (12/16/2011)

Neurocognition of Language Lab Engaged in Multidisciplinary Research on Prolonged Grief (11/21/2011 1:42:00 PM)

Neurocognition of Language Lab Engaged in Multidisciplinary Research on Prolonged Grief COPY (11/21/2011 1:42:00 PM)

What to Say when the Sky is Falling? How to Talk to Kids about Disasters (11/2/2011)

'We Are Stronger Than We Realized' (9/20/2011)

Bonanno Receives Grant to Study Prolonged Grief (9/14/2011)

TC to Hold 9/11 Memorial on Monday (9/9/2011)

TC Memorial Will Mark 9/11 Anniversary (8/18/2011)

What Not to Expect When You're Expecting: A Big Change in Overall Satisfaction With Life (6/20/2011)

Research by TC Graduate Students Finds That Having Children Doesn't Curb Happiness (5/31/2011)

Research highlights (5/11/2011)

TC's Bonanno Writes for Newsweek About the Endurance of the Japanese (4/11/2011)

Employee News (2/11/2011)

Work of TC's George Bonanno Has Become the Standard for Studying Response to Grief (2/6/2011)

Staffing News (12/17/2010)

First Editions (12/8/2010)

Bonanno on CNN as Chilean Miners are Rescued (10/14/2010)

Susan Fuhrman Fall 2010 Letter (10/7/2010)

Bonanno Speaks With Toronto Newspaper About Chilean Miners Trapped Far Underground (9/2/2010)

New Yorker Magazine Discusses George Bonanno's New Book on Grieving (1/28/2010)

Hospice's tree decoration helps ease pain for newly bereaved families (1/20/2010)

Five by the Faculty (1/11/2010)

New York Times Reviews Bonanno's Book on Grieving (1/4/2010)

Five by the Faculty (12/23/2009)

Maybe Grief Isn't So Bad After All (11/16/2009)

YouTube, Facebook memorials may help mourners cope (6/29/2009)

Down But Not Out: Staying Mentally Stable in Tough Times (1/15/2009)

Does this explain muskrat love? (10/16/2008)

Research Highlights (5/21/2008)

Grin and Bear It? Not Always (4/1/2008)

Smile - But Maybe Not When Your Heart Is Breaking (11/15/2007)

Crisis talks (3/12/2007)

September in January: School Bus Changes Sow Confusion (1/30/2007)

Setting the Record Straight on Research in School Classrooms (11/17/2006)

Experts Available On Bereavement and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Regarding School Shootings (10/3/2006)

2005 at TC: The Year in Review (9/20/2006)

Grieving Is Not A Straightforward Press (5/19/2006)

Online Web Condolences Pour In for Mother and Surviving Triplet (4/20/2006)

All Right, Be That Way (4/13/2006)

Some Comfort For The Grieving-There's No Wrong Way to Do It (1/9/2006)

Good Grief (12/20/2005)

'Post-Traumatic Growth' Debated (11/29/2005)

Society's Formulas For Grieving Don't Apply To Everyone (9/27/2005)

Inner Strength (9/26/2005)

Trauma Affects the Self-Absorbed the Least (7/6/2005)

Focusing on Loss Prolongs Grief (6/13/2005)

Research in 2004 (5/27/2005)

Coping On Campus (4/12/2005)

Missing Person Cases Make Closure Difficult (3/10/2005)

Most People Exhibit Resilience After Suffering Loss (11/8/2004)

Express Yourself? (6/14/2004)

New Academy for Research on Traumatic Stress at TC (3/30/2004)

Suppressing Grief Does Not Prove Harmful (1/27/2004)

IN BRIEF: George Bonnano (12/17/2003)

You've Got Mail (11/9/2003)

Engaging in Research: An Award-Winning Faculty (8/1/2003)

Psychotherapy Not Necessarily a Cure-all (6/25/2003)

Studies Show Repression May be More Effective Trauma Therapy (2/24/2003)

New Study Looks at Grieving in the Elderly (10/2/2002)

Psychologists Critical of Program (9/8/2002)

We Too are Heroes (9/1/2002)

9/11 (8/31/2002)

Continuing to Repair the World (8/28/2002)

Nation on Edge about September 11 Travel (8/28/2002)

Research on Traumatic Loss and Bereavement Published by George Bonanno (6/1/2002)

Professor George Bonanno On Traumatic Loss and Bereavement (1/1/2002)

Teachers College and Its Alumni Respond to WTC Tragedy (1/1/2002)

Faculty Briefs (7:4) (12/1/2001)

TC Researchers Receive $1 Million to Study Self-control in Smoking (10/1/2001)

TC Responds to Tragedy (10/1/2001)

Center on Chinese Education Created at TC (1/1/2001)

Laughing in the Face of Death: Coping with Grief Effectively (9/1/2000)

TC Welcomes New Faculty Members (8/1/1999)